The past month has been very eventful. Not much snow, unfortunately, but lots of wind! The wind event/s have kept the grooming crew quite busy trying to keep the trail systems opened. But special thanks needs to be made to Dwight McCain, who single handedly took on the windfalls on the snow shoe trails before the grooming crew got to them. After working into the early evening he accomplished a lot and save the sawyers on the crew a great deal of time and effort. So if you see him on the trails skate skiing express your gratitude. Thanks Dwight!
Regarding the current condition of the trail systems a lot of work has been completed, but a lot remains. In addition to trying to stay current with the grooming of the snow that is there, the crew has been able to keep the inner loop, about half of Elderberry and Skywalker (Road 614 from the barrier to Eagle Run) logged out. But there is a lot of work left to do on Eagle Run, Elderberry and probably the rest of Skywalker out to Rose Saddle. Hopefully by early February these trails will also be cleared of windfalls, for a while, and finally get their first grooming.
Base on the days I have been up to 4th of July the ski and snowshoe trails are pretty popular with folks other than club members and other local users. There have been recreationists parked at both the upper and lower parking areas every time I’ve gone up. Many are from out of state, and when visiting with some of them they mentioned they based their visit on seeing the club WEB site. It appears the WEB site must be working and 4th of July is getting regional if not national notice.
Educating the users regarding the protocols while using the ski trails has always been an issue when people new to the area visit 4th Of July. Nancy Lewis and Karen Williams have made a valiant effort to educate users when their on patrol, and Skip and Goeff put up information signs every season. But the issues related to snowshoe use, hikers, bikers and dogs on the groomed inner loop ski trails still occur from time to time. To address this, the Board has decided to try the idea of placing information cards on car windshields. Possibly late this season or next season these cards will be placed on out of state vehicles and cars that are not known to be members of the club. One hundred cards will be produced and used as an experiment to see if it makes any difference in how the inner loop is being used, and/or if we end up picking up a lot of discarded cards in the parking area. So Nancy and Karen have agreed to take the lead on designing and getting the cards printed, and getting them distributed in the future.
Last month it was mentioned that the Board was making an effort to put together some group ski or snowshoe events. Unfortunately the ideas proposed for January fell through due to unexpected weather and logistics issues. But if anyone is interested in getting together in February and March there will be events to participate in. The calendars and descriptions of these events will be posted on the WEB site very soon. Event leaders will post a message in advance of the scheduled date to let interested folks know if it has to be canceled due to lack of snow. But we will try to stay optimistic that good conditions will prevail.
As a preview, the first February event is scheduled for the 13th. In order to keep it close to home it will be a ski trek from Fernan Saddle to Burnt Cabin Summit. It consists of approximately two miles on
the groomed snowmobile trail out of Fernan Saddle and approximately one and a half miles of non-groomed trail to the north of the snowmobile trail. If you’re interested in participating take a look at the full description posted on the WEB. Even though we will be outside, having face masks with you and maintaining social distancing while gathering for breaks is encouraged.
In closing, let’s all hope a big snow storm arrives in February! Without it the season on the lower trails at 4th of July might be coming to an end by the end of the month.
Happy New Year! Hope everyone is still in good health.
Currently it would seem that the winter weather is not being very friendly to 4rth of July this year. Although, the brief snow storm that occurred last week left enough snow at the lower elevation to allow the groomer crew to get some work done. If you hadn’t already seen it in Geoff’s grooming report, the inner loop was packed and groomed on New Year’s Eve. Also, the stretch of Road 614 (Skywalker) from the Skateaway intersection to the barrier near the freeway was completed and Moonrunner was packed all the way out to Rose Saddle.
Then the warm temps and rain arrived “again”. It was reported over the weekend that the grooming at the lower elevations was getting mushy, but hadn’t melted away. Hopefully it’s still intact and the packing that was done will allow it to hold until more snow arrives and the grooming can be performed again.
The Board is currently working up a group skiing or snowshoeing events. The draft ideas are based on single day local events due to Covid concerns. Being outside, there should be adequate opportunities to maintain safe distance separation while still allowing participants to socialize a little. Two events will be scheduled for every other Saturday, or possibly Sunday, in January; February and March. As soon as all the board members have responded to the drafts with their input the dates will be posted on the WEB site and announced through and e-mails. So stay tuned for more information, and join in if you can.
If you know anyone who:
1. May be interest in joining PNC this year please let them know it is very important that they fill out and submit the membership form electronically. By doing so it makes it much more efficient and simpler for creating the annual membership list. So please pass on the word if you have the opportunity.
2. Would like some cross country ski instructions Nancy Lewis has volunteered to assist them. She is willing to meet them up at 4th of July to give pointers. They simply need to give her a call and work out a time when they can meet her there. (If you need to know how to contact her, see membership list). contact info is also on our website in the PNC Board tab.
The club was recently contacted by: Mickael Stevens, the recreation supervisor with the City of Rathdrum, Parks & Recreation. They were offering and snowshoe for beginners get together, but unfortunately the person that was going to lead it had to back out. So he was inquiring about finding someone to fill the role. He also offered a small instructors fee. If interested, please respond to me @ email@example.com. I will assist you with getting in touch with Mr. Stevens.